Scientists develop robot thief

With the invention of security measures for electronics devices like fingerprint recognition on your laptop or GPS car tracking it seemed that the life of the average petty criminal was becoming more and more difficult in the twenty-first century.

But, as in all professions, modernisation is the key, and a new robot developed by students at Olin University will be great news for an upcoming generation of ne’er do-wells.

This is because the scientists have constructed a robot that is able to help wannabe crims succesfully break into a Masterlock, offering a novel way for the average engineering student with latent criminal tendencies to supplement their income throughout university, all without having to resort to the traditional hammer and chisel method, of course.

Even if none of the of the lock combination is known the robot can open it by clamping the lock in place and using a thumbscrew, a puller and a solenoid-controlled grabber to try to yank the lock out of place, alongside the step motor which turns the knobs and dials in the combination.

After this is in place, LockCracker software, written in Python, then runs through all of the possible combinations before the lock pops, as well as telling the user what the combination is for next time.

Of course as the machine is only configured to pick Masterlocks, widely used at schools and universities in the US, a global science student crime epidemic is not thought to be causing bank security too much trouble with potential heists at the moment.

With a full two hours required to actually succeed in accessing the lock, in some cases the project team don’t seem to have fully catered for the need to make a speedy getaway.

But we can guess that next time locker contents mysteriously vanish in Olin University, we know where fingers will be pointed.